Braving frigid waters a New Year’s rite Over a century of tradition honored, as roughly 600 hardy souls ring in 2013 with a plunge into waters off South Boston ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Dina Rudick / Globe Staff The crowd chanted "it's not that cold" before racing into the water at Dorchester Bay for the annual L Street Brownies Polar Bear Swim. Dina Rudick / Globe Staff Participants take the frigid plunge for fun and to raise money for a variety of causes. Dina Rudick / Globe Staff The swim is sponsored by the City of Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, Curley Community Center, and the L Street Brownies. Dina Rudick / Globe Staff Creative outfits were plentiful at the plunge. Dina Rudick / Globe Staff Some swimmers wore more covering than others. Dina Rudick / Globe Staff The water temperature was just over 40 degrees. Dina Rudick / Globe Staff The event derives from a Northern European tradition and was exported to South Boston in 1901.